Believe Me. You Have Time.

When I hear somebody say, “I don’t have enough time,” or “there’s just not enough time,” or “I wish I had more time.” I automatically think, “First, you have way too much time. And second, you’re using it very poorly.”

Still here?


See, they’re keeping themselves busy with work that they shouldn’t be doing, concerns that they shouldn’t be having, and focusing on the wrong things. When I see somebody in a legitimate state of overwhelm, procrastination, inertia, or just working ineffectively, it’s because there’s no time restriction.

And we all know by now that restrictions breed innovation.

I’m the type of person who uses my time wisely and fully. Here’s an example. Saturday night, I had maybe the wildest night of my entire life. I worked an ambulance shift in Trenton and had 21 patients over nine hours.

In Princeton, maybe we get one or two calls a night. The most I’ve ever had in one night was nine during the pandemic with the FDNY. But in Trenton, there are two ambulances on at night for 80,000 people and very few cops.

So resources are stretched to the max.

For the first time in my career, I had two patients simultaneously in the back of the ambulance with me. As I was shifting back and forth between them getting vitals, it reinforced that I must learn some other languages.

I almost delivered a baby, which was really cool. Then we walked into a murder scene that we didn’t think was a murder scene where there were no cops yet. It was just us. There were two stabbings, three car accidents, and three incidents with children. (They were all fine). One dog, also fine, assaults, cardiac arrests, drunks, you name it. We responded to it — pretty much one after another for nine hours.

Call priority also shifted constantly based on the severity of a patient’s injuries.

So truly a legitimate experience of having no time. Still, we were able to get everything done: patient care, charting, rig maintenance, admin stuff, and fortunately, there were no mistakes.

Now I’m not saying nobody else knows what’s late to be in a time crunch. You certainly do. But I hope my EMT example lends a bit of perspective to the notion that it’s quite the opposite when we feel like there’s not enough time.

Time is absolute. What we do with it determines its value to us and those around us.

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